Letters to the Editor: Stop trying to diagnose Biden’s word fumbles, expert says

President Biden greats members of Congress as he arrives at the Capitol to deliver his State of the Union address on Feb. 7.
President Biden greets members of Congress as he arrives at the Capitol to deliver his State of the Union address on Feb. 7.
(Bloomberg via Getty Images)

To the editor: I love Robin Abcarian’s columns, but I was disturbed by her comment that President Biden’s word fumbles are more likely due to age than his lifelong stutter. (“I almost wrote off Joe Biden in 2020. Boy, was I wrong then. What about now?” Opinion, Feb. 12)

I am a speech language pathologist, and I cannot tell you how many times I have had to defend people when others say they must not be intelligent, are old or can’t even complete a sentence.

Stutterers do not always know which words or phrases will start a word or consonant block. Many use techniques such as trying to find another word to “get out of the block,” and they may find themselves saying things that they did not want to say. Some will try to talk louder, softer, faster or slower.


I am so tired of people saying that someone must be unintelligent or have dementia, in an effort to diagnose something that a person may have minimal control over in many instances.

Fran Spokane, Long Beach


To the editor: One classic moment in presidential debates came in 1984, when President Reagan told challenger and former Vice President Walter Mondale this: “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

Older adults of the baby boom generation have fought in wars, participated in the civil rights movement, brought democracy to other countries and raised children with worthy leadership qualities. We also made mistakes that we are still learning to correct.

Just because we are gray-haired, have more wrinkles, walk slower and make frequent bathroom stops doesn’t mean we cannot still find solutions to local and national problems.

Being older comes with experience, and why shouldn’t we put that experience to good use? So, let me tweak the famous quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: I look to a day when people will not be judged by the wrinkles in their skin, but by the content of their character.


Robin Clough, Santa Clarita


To the editor: The major concern about Biden running again isn’t his age. It is this: Who will be his vice president pick when he does run for a second term?

Steven Leffert, Lake Balboa